In the beginning of December I challenged myself and went on a low-carb diet for a week in an effort to lose some weight before Christmas. Oh boy, what a challenge this was. I had no bread, porridge, muesli, pasta or rice for a week! I introduced beans to my diet, something that I would normally not have as I never liked beans when I was a child. But beans are really healthy foods, high in protein and containing much less carbs than lentils. I am now slowly introducing them to my diet, slowly learning to like them.
One evening during my low-carb week I made a kidney bean-vegetable soup made of various vegetables that I needed to use. I couldn’t use lentils as they are high in carbs so I used kidney beans instead. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out as I just put some random vegetables in the soup, but at the end it turned out delicious. I really liked it and I also had it for my lunch at work the next day. It was such a filling soup, it kept me going for a while.
I made this soup the second time a week or so later and it wasn’t as tasty but then I realised why the first time was so delicious. You need to use some of the liquid from the beans – don’t drain the beans and throw the thick liquid away – use it for the soup. This makes it much more tasty.
I did use half of a carrot in my soup (only because I had to use it up) but those who really want to be strict with their low carb diet can leave this out.
- 100g green beans, cut into 1cm long pieces
- 1/2 carrot, chopped (optional)
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 stock cube, vegetarian
- 4 tbsp coconut or rapeseed oil (enough to fry the onion)
- 50g of spinach, washed (or more if you like)
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 carton of organic kidney beans (get it from Tesco's or Sainsbury's)
- 2 bay leaves
- 75ml passata
- 1/2 courgette, chopped
- salt and pepper as required
- Heat up the oil in a medium size saucepan, add a sliced onion and gently fry it until soft.
- Add chopped garlic, quickly stir, leave for around 30 seconds so it releases the flavour and then add some water to prevent it from burning.
- Cook the harder vegetables first. Add cut celery, carrots and green beans to the pan and then add enough water to cover them so they can cook in a liquid. Add a stock cube, smoked paprika and bay leaves at the same time.
- Simmer vegetables for around 5 minutes and then add chopped courgette and passata. Add more water if needed. Cook for a few more minutes and then add the spinach.
- After the spinach has wilted a bit add a carton of kidney beans. If it feels it needs more liquid, add all of the liquid from the carton. If it's a bit watery, add only some of the liquid.
- Cook on a low heat for a few more minutes. If it's too watery you could add some flour and water mix.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- If you eat meat, you could also put some chicken pieces in this soup, just make sure the chicken is organic. Of course you would have to cook it first before cooking any vegetables.